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The top-rated reader reviews of the week

There are just four weeks left to rate and review your favourite restaurants to put them in the running for the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries. (Psst: You could also win R1 000 for your review!) Write a review now.

Here are this week’s top-rated contenders.

Johannesburg

Woodfired pizza at Café del Sol Botanico. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Woodfired pizza at Café del Sol Botanico. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cafe Del Sol Botanico (Bryanston)
Cafe Del Sol Botanico is a special treat! The decor and ambience are sophisticated and chic. The attention to detail is impeccable. The food is mouth watering. The plating is authentic. This is definitely my first choice for a special occasion or a quick pizza and glass of vino in the Landmark bar. A dining experience not to be missed!

– Alessia Viljoen

555

Casa Bella (Mall of Africa)
This is my favourite restaurant by far! Nestled in the new Mall of Africa, Casa Bella is the big and distinguished brother of Spur and Rocomamas (Part of the Spur group). The restaurant has a welcoming atmosphere and has a very rustic look to it. When you are seated, the waiter will serve you bread pockets (only way to describe it) in a brown packet. These are absolutely delicious and probably my favourite thing to eat there. I have been there on numerous occasions and ordered many different kinds of dishes, for example, parma ham pizza, veggie lasagne, fillet gorgonzola, and parmesean-crusted chicken. But my favourite is the oxtail. It is so tender and the meat slides right off of the bone. They make a perfect oxtail! They are definitely doing something right – they need to open more branches in JHB.
– Natalie Carr

555

Choo Choo Junction (Linden)
My husband and I went for spring dinner at Choo Choo Junction. The restaurant was full and bustling with happiness and life! Gisela is a hands-on, friendly host; it’s obvious that she loves what she does. The menu is not huge, but it doesn’t make the decision any easier :-). The food was full of flavours and really tasty. We shared the Asian flatbread for a starter, I had the beef short-rib cooked in the pizza oven and my husband had the Moroccan meatball pasta. Everything was delicious and well presented. The marshmallow, cookie and chocolate sugar cone for dessert is addictive! Service was really good with friendly and helpful waiters. We will definitely be back and we wish Gisela and her team all the best! – Sunette van Rensburg

455

Coobs

The interior at Coobs. Photo supplied.

Coobs (Pankhurst)
WOW! That is the word that comes to mind, from the moment we were seated until we devoured our amazing dessert. The hero of the night was without a doubt the burger… I took the beef burger but they also have a lamb option. It’s served with leek marmalade, halloumi and smoked ricotta mousse and that amazing wild boar bacon. You can definitely taste that the chef has a passion for food and which combinations works best. I can’t wait to try every single item on the menu! 🙂 – Helene Esterhuizen

555

salad prepared and served at The Culinary Table

Salad at The Culinary Table. Photo supplied.

Culinary Table (Lanseria)
Everything was super amazing, from the way their kitchen is designed to the kitchen garden that’s right outside the restaurant! My friends kept going on about how fresh the salads were; the most amazing part is that the chefs personally handpick each ingredient from the garden. The waiter was easy going, friendly and professional. Being a foodie, I enjoyed browsing through their deli and their sous-vide packed fridge. Culinary is my new fav! – Samantha Mkwananzi

Ambience: 4 stars, Service: 4 stars, Food: 5 stars

La Santa Muerte (Melville)
As a ‘foreigner’ I’m always looking for my Mexican fix and I’ve tried a few different places. I keep coming back to La Santa Muerte. I love the variety of hot sauces, but even more I love the tacos; they are so delicious, never ever have I had moreish nachos! The portion sizes are perfect for everyone! Double YUM! – Suanne La Rose

435

Harissa and pumpkin with green beans and a buttermilk dressing. Photo supplied.

Harissa and pumpkin with green beans and a buttermilk dressing. Photo supplied.

Marble (Rosebank)
Marble is tough to rate with stars, so thankfully I get to use words. I rated the ambience 5 stars because the bar side has such an incredible feel that it has branded an impression on me. I felt like I was teleported to a 5 star rooftop bar in Hong Kong or New York. It’s a spacious, tastefully furnished space of brown leathers, shades of grey fabrics, hints of brass and a gorgeous marble bar that stretches across the length of the room that leads to a balcony with a view of a setting sun or city lights. It’s trendy, sophisticated yet still relaxed. I sat drinking my carefully selected G&T that I had fun deliberating over with a barman who clearly knew his stuff, with my husband and friends slightly distracted by the most sexy scent that they have diffusing through the air (I still need to find out what it is-I need it!). The ambience changed when we moved over to our table on the ‘restaurant side’ – that felt very much like a large hotel restaurant with a vast amount of lovely marble tables. I assume the brighter lighting is so you can see and appreciate the beautiful presentation of the food. The open fire and chefs busy at work is always nice to see but I would recommend asking for a table closest to the action if you want to benefit from it. The food – 4 stars – with the last star dropped because of the blackened octopus starter that was surprisingly very rubbery but worth the extra chewing effort for the taste. My fillet was perfection and delicious and we skipped dessert. Although the selection looked yummy, we were too full. There is a beautiful glass wine cellar housing a large variety of wines to suit a variety of meals and palates. I’ll be back (many times) and I’m heading straight for the bar! – Terri Pretorius

534

Perron (Illovo)
Everything was super amazing. I like how they pay attention to detail, from the decor to the kitchen. I’m only giving them 4 stars for food because one can always aim for better. But it was an overall great experience. – Chef Nti

455

Ristorante La Trinita (Kyalami)
La Trinita is one of the best and my most FAVOURITE restaurant. Their service and food are absolutely amazing and I am yet to find another that compares. They have a personalised touch with everyone who comes to their restaurant and this has not changed in my 6-odd years of frequenting the restaurant. They are just superb! – Pria Paruman

555

Rocomamas (Fourways)
It’s another rocking Friday Afternoon at Rocomammas Fourways. As spring is fast approaching and everybody is getting their summer bodies in order, I am just sitting here, working on my burger baby. This is absolutely my favorite burger joint! It has an energetic and youthful atmosphere, with service that is on point. The music, vibe and service really inspire you to dig in. But the reason I’m here is the burgers! I absolutely love building my own burger, with everything I love on it. Serve them up with shoestring fries and then wash it down with an ice cold Savanna Light. #Burgasm. Yasss… Even writing this review makes me want to go out and chomp another burger and fries. Go check it out, you will not be disappointed. – Project Jana

555

Bloemfontein

Avanti (Westdene)
Best restaurant by far in Bloemfontein! – Lorien Henning

555

Avanti. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Avanti. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Durban

Bel Punto (Umdloti)
The seafood here is always fresh and cooked with subtle but beautiful flavours and the risotto is heavenly. If you want a easy-eating starter, the deep-fried olives are delicious. The incredible sea views are an added bonus. – Ray Furnell

545

Graham Neilson from Boiler Room Café will be cooking up pulled pork in his new food truck, Roast Co. Photo supplied.

Graham Neilson from Boiler Room Café will be cooking up pulled pork in his new food truck, Roast Co. Photo supplied.

Boiler Room Cafe (Morningside)
A beautiful spot with beautiful food. Perfect for breakfast with friends. The pressed juices are incredible. – Anelde Greeff

444

Chilliplum (Hillcrest)
Magic place to eat, with friendly and wonderful service. The food and wines are incredible. The vegan food blows ‘meat fare’ out the window! So tasty and beautifully presented. – Eloise Deschamps

555

The tomato and basil pasta at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The tomato and basil pasta at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The Glenwood Restaurant (Glenwood)
The pasta at Glenwood Restaurant is perfection and I love that the menu changes weekly. My personal favourite is the delicate tomato tagliatelle with a dash of cream and parmesan. The anti pasti platter is also always a winner, especially in large groups. – Jess Burton

Ambience: 4 stars, Service: 4 stars, Food: 5 stars

Cape Town

Active Sushi (Bree Street)
I came to have the all-you-can-eat sushi special with my boyfriend. The restaurant has a great vibe and the sushi is delicious! Friendly staff and fast order turn around – I would definitely come back. – Helena Zaayman

555

Coco Safar

Coco Safar (Claremont)

I loooove this place. The attention to detail. The staff uniform and service. The rooibos… ohh, the rooibos! If you like the finer things in life, this place is for you. – Nkgabi Themba

554

Ceviche and tacos at El Burro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Ceviche and tacos at El Burro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

El Burro (Green Point)
I can’t get enough – it’s the best Mexican / all-round, consistent restaurant in Cape Town! And, great news for the folks in the Southern ’burbs – they’re opening a branch in Newlands. – Francesca Tiganis

555

Gastao’s Tapas and Craft Beer (Tygervalley)
They have a great craft beer list to choose from and their tapas is very good. I love the hake goujons and the pepper tjings. Pork belly tapas also worth trying. A great place for a kuier with friends. – Werner Hayward

444

bunless BBL prepared and served at IYO Burgers

A bunless BBL burger at IYO. Photo supplied.

Inside & You’re Out (IYO) (Bree Street)
I have visited IYO Burgers numerous times. Each experience at this burger joint has left me content and excited for my next visit. The dynamic duo have certainly captured their passion through serving sustainable sourced ingredients, imaginative burgers and a relaxed yet vibey atmosphere! It is great for beers with friend too. I highly recommend this place. – Alessandta Magni

545

Burger and fries at Jerry's Burger Bar in Observatory. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Burger and fries at Jerry’s Burger Bar in Observatory. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Jerry’s Burger Bar (Willowbridge)
I’ve been living in CPT many years, looking for the perfect burger joint. My search is over. I welcome Jerry’s Burger Joint Willowbridge into my life = happy life! – Niel Best

555

The Stud Burger & Saloon (Woodstock)
All of our burgers were excellently prepared according to whether we wanted them well done, medium or medium rare, and the presentation was very easy on the eye. We ordered a Jimmy Hendricks, JJ Cale, Champion Jack and Son House, an ostrich burger. We shared all of the burgers and boy, was it good. Some of us chose the option for French fries and some the sweet-potato fries. We also tried the craft beers on tap and all were served ice cold. Service was excellent and the owner came to our table and chatted to us and served us the beers. Can recommend this place in Woodstock. – Minnette Willard

355

Winelands and Overberg

Nomad Restaurant (Stellenbosch)
There is no better experience than tapping the hard crust of a crème brûlée and breaking through to the beautiful soft cream beneath. Going dairy free, I gave up the hope to experience this again. Then I discovered Nomad Restaurant. Just outside Stellenbosch, it’s set over a freshwater dam. The absolute best gluten-free, vegan pizzas, bread and crème brûlée! But that’s not all: Your non-vegan family members can also order regular food. I enjoyed this place so much I even went back for a second visit! – Candice Mes

454

Pear Tree (Hermanus)
Excellent service with great food. We will definitely be back. – Elsa Bod

555

 Port Elizabeth

Il Tricolore Restaurant (Walmer)
The venue itself isn’t the best I’ve seen; however, it seems to be continuously improving with aesthetic changes. Service is friendly and on-point. However, this all pales in comparison with the quality of food offered. Having made it a personal quest to try every Italian restaurant in every major city, this is without doubt the best quality Italian food in South Africa. Nearly every offering is flawless (I’ve tried virtually all) and I recommend it as first on the list of must-try Italian restaurants. – Theresa Michaels

Ambience: 3 stars, Service: 4 stars, Food: 5 stars

 

 

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